Delhi: In a landmark judgement, the Delhi High Court
has directed 14 prominent hotels and restaurants to either
pay the copyright license fee for the party they hosted
on New Years eve, or face legal restraint from playing
any music at all until the next hearing on January 17.
The hotels include Intercontinental Grand, Park Royal,
Vasant Continental, Turquoise Cottage, Geoffreys, Hotel
Siddharth, Tivoli Garden, Opus Lounge and more.
injunction order passed by the court states, "Accordingly,
are restrained till the next date
of hearing from playing any sound recording in which the
plaintiff or its members have copyrights without paying
the requisite license fee to the plaintiff within a week
of service, which shall be paid and accepted without prejudice
to the pleas that may have been raised by the parties."
order, handed down today by Justice R. C Chopra, in response
to a petition filed by Phonographic Performance Limited
(PPL), the copyright society registered under the Copyright
on December 31, 2003, the Bombay High court directed seven
major hotels in Mumbai, to pay license fee for playing
music to PPL, or face restraint from playing music at
all. Similarly on February 14, 2003 a similar injunction
was granted by the Bangalore High Court.
representing 60 music companies, had highlighted that
playing commercial music without paying a copyright license
fee is an illegal act, liable for action under contempt
of court. Yet, most hotels, restaurants and pubs play
music without paying the requisite license fee thus eating
into the earnings of the music companies who make significant
investments in promoting music.
court injunction serves a respite to the ailing music
industry, in the wake of the ever-increasing levels of
piracy eating into the roots of the music companies. With
losses topping Rs600 crore each
year for the music companies and sale of pirated CD's
clocking a record 1 billion this year, the Delhi High
Court's decision has been welcomed by the music industry.